My Grandmother would have translated it as, "Don't let the foxes guard the henhouse."
As for the major problem with SCCA...The following is a portion of Brock Yates' July 29th column "Notes From the Margin". He is answering a critic about an earlier comment he made about SCCA Pro Racing, but his observations apply to rallying as well, and could provide insight into some of the reasons why the FIA will never approve an SCCA-sanctioned World Rally Championship event.
In part, Yates says:
"?my reference was to major-league motorsports, which the SCCA is decidedly not.
"Don?t get me wrong; it is a splendid organization for amateurs and semi-pros of all kinds; drivers, crew members, constructors, weekend flag-wavers and whistle-blowers, but the SCCA has long since dropped out of inner sanctum of the big leagues. The Club had its chance with the three greatest American road racing series of the last century; Can-Am, Formula 5000 and Trans-Am, all of which it managed to botch. (A trifecta of incompetence.) Only the Trans-Am remains, a hollow shell of its glory days and no more than a lounge act for headliner shows.
"I wish it was otherwise. I had some wonderful years racing with the Club and believe it still does great service to the sport at the entry level by providing myriad activities for tens of thousands of enthusiasts. But sadly its so-called Pro Racing division has become marginalized. Perhaps if CART collapses, the SCCA can worm its way back inside the tent, but based on the open disdain for its top-heavy administration and its endless fascination with niggling bureaucratic complexity at all levels, it would take a miracle for the SCCA to be taken seriously again by the powers-that-be who rule the sport.
"Like it or not, successful professional motorsport is run exclusively by tough, often ruthless dictators. Ecclestone, France, George, Panoz, and perhaps Pook, are not beholden to enthusiasts. None of these power brokers, to my knowledge, live in either Denver or Topeka?
"The SCCA is a wonderful club that does tremendous work in servicing its weekend amateur members. But as an organization structured on a Byzantine pile of Regions, Divisions, committees, boards, study groups, panels, conventions, internal political rivalries, and more titled executives than a small Caribbean nation, it is simply not geared to run a modern, wholly professional racing series. It does yeoman service in supplying corner workers paddock marshals, timers and scorers, emergency crews, etc., for some of the real pros, but it has lost its credibility as the operator of a first-tier racing series among the elites who control racing worldwide. Sad, but true."
So, if Yates is right, then SCCA should stick to club activities and leave Pro events to other sanctioning bodies. Hmmm....what if all the organizers of major rallys moved their events to USAC, like Cherokee Trails and Ramada Express, and Club events stayed with SCCA?
>Consider that nearly every ProRally includes two
>How would one operate an event where part of the field is
>SCCA rules and the other part USAC rules?
Cart managed to do it for 15 years with Indy sanctioned by USAC. ;-)
I doubt USAC has any rules concerning rallys. I would think USAC is just getting a fee to provide a sanction and with it insurance. And their interest in the events are probably limited to the events use commonly accepted safety practices.
And that would be different than the SCCA in timing of decisions only:
-- FIA: signs
-- Course Notes not Route books
-- P& PGT rules moving toward alignmet with Group N
So the SCCA is on the same Path as the USAC/FIA sanctioned events and the USAC/FIA sanctioned events are going to have to find a way to modify, alter, go around the rules to allow Open, Group N, PGT, Group 5, Group 2, and P cars to compete (to fill their fields). The names of the classes may change, but the structure of the competition will essentially remain the same.
Although I wish no car to be outlawed if there were only 3 classes you'd own and run in one of those three classes.
We have always been in the game of encoraging more competition and fair competiton among the cars we have. I agree with this, so we may always need "U.S." classes for our sport to survive.
As noted, the SCCA has a hard time running a professional series because they depend on volunteers to do all the work. Denver/Topeka has tried the dictatorship approach but it is soundly rejected by the membership because we have invested too much into the series to just give it away. In addition the bulk of the competitors are on a club budget -- they need different rules than the Pros.
You want a professional series to work, you need professional organizers, the caliber and quality is there but the fiascos the Manufactureres teams bring the the sport are just headaches, and there is no satisfaction for trying to your best and do what is good for the sport and do what is RIGHT, only to be out-lawyered by the guys who are getting paid to have the fun.
Those guys who are getting paid should be helping the sport to look good, run smoothly, run safely: instead they are breaking rules, ignoring the safety of competitors, and manipulating the series, rules, and sport for only their benefit. It is the SCCA who should be ensuring they are not above the law but instead it is the SCCA who is ensuring they make the laws and get away with breaking the laws.
I am all for a professional series in the US, but I don't like the way the leadership is running, promoting or encouraging the disregard for the many people who have worked tirelessly to make this sport fun, fair, and equitable.
I want a professional element to our series, but we need the professionals to give a little more to the sport , disrupt a little less and be the leaders in example.
I was told last night that Laughlin could certainly be sanctioned by USAC, insured by whomever, AND score SCCA points if the Ramada Express organizers want to pay the standard SCCA fee (which is separate from the insurance fee) on top of their other expenses.
I don't think car classification will be an issue in a mixed environment. Operational rules might prove thorny, but mainly in the areas already mentioned. If we use the model suggested last night (USAC sanction, SCCA points) I assume the sanction would take precedence but I think Bruce or Beryl Ann can better explain it.
I dunno, J.B. It may be an interesting mental exercise, but having lived through rallying's NARA, NARRA/SCCA era, and seeing what the IRL/CART split and ALMS/Grand-Am competition are doing to open-wheel and sports car racing respectively, I don't think dual sanctioning of a "niche" motorsport is usually healthy. Sponsors and competitors like stability. Organizers like stability. Series stability is good.
No political revolution (that's the core of what we have here.) ever started unless: "Those in revolt believe they have nothing left to lose, AND they have a common vision of something better."
Any resulting split is simply a natural response to tyranny. Give new hope (not hype) and evidence that wrongs have been corrected, and the natural response to rebel subsides. All in Authority must always remember that they SERVE at pleasure of the people.
This is the age of internet. Has nothing to do with commitment.
Besides,... who would want to move to Kansas. Only Dorothy and Toto were crazy enough to go back to Kansas. And she got hit in the head.
I was just reading this months SportsCar - I found the section called 'A Look Back' in the margin of page 10 rather amusing.
...after a season of discontent by the membership over the direction the Club was taking, the SCCA Board of Directors reaffirmed that "the guiding pronciple for the SCCA is that the ultimate direction of the Club rests with the membership"...
I was racing along with the Can-Am when CART just started and the teams and sponsors hadn't defected yet. The SCCA administrators were young, energetic, well spoken and knowlegable. They also lasted an average of 3 months before one of the teams hired them away to do PR for them instead of the SCCA/Can-Am. If Kurt is doing his best to look for a future employer he should realize he's just being used, he'd be there already.
(this is not a statement of fact, just an observation mixed with an opinion, however biased).
"You can't have the lunatics running the asylum" K. Spitzner
>I was just reading this months SportsCar - I found the
>section called 'A Look Back' in the margin of page 10 rather
>...after a season of discontent by the membership over the
>direction the Club was taking, the SCCA Board of Directors
>reaffirmed that "the guiding pronciple for the SCCA is that
>the ultimate direction of the Club rests with the
Contrast that with the arrogance of the then newly hired Kurtz Spitzner when as a mere Media and promotions flunky he began things by saying :
"You can't have the lunatics running the asylum"
Such arrogance deserve a reward.
Or if he had any sence of honesty or shame an apology to the membership, followed by ritual sepukku.
>I do not believe the Indy 500 was ever run with 22 cars
>following CART rules and the other 11 following USAC rules.
Sorry JB, but that's exactly how it worked (or didn't work), I recall one year when there were 31 cars following CART rules and two Penske-Mercedes cars following USAC rules. Prior to Tony's IRL stupidity, CART had one engine spec but USAC allowed a variety of engine types with various equalization rules.
Hey under USAC rally rules, maybe a certain 1979 rotary engined sports car is still legal for the big show?